How to write

You just have to start and keep going, since it gets better, as I have been saying since the sixth grade. Part of the reason I stopped writing at a certain point was that it was the only thing I knew for sure I knew how to do. “Just write” means do not delay starting, but it does not mean not to give yourself research time.

I resent academic advice because I know what to do and how to do it, mostly … it is that instructions I knew by heart were so often given as instructions to solve a different problem.

It is distressing in a number of ways to spend as much time as I do too depressed and scared to work. I am afraid to begin working because I developed the custom of beginning to destroy myself the minute I begin working. How to decouple these things is the question; until recently the question was how to see that this was what was happening.

I must stop thinking so negatively, I am told, and I believe it. The meaning of “standing up for yourself,” that phrase I do not understand, is precisely another phrase, that I developed recently: “fighting on your own side.”

“It is not the work that is hard, but what you have transferred onto it,” someone said long ago and I understood them. How to stop transferring those things onto it has been the question since.



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